London Olympics Creates Online Social Hub for Athletes and Fans to Mingle

If you are looking to follow your favorite athletes at this year’s Summer Olympics, the governing body has just set up a system that will enable you to do just that with both famous and those that hope to soon to be famous.

The International Olympics Committee has set up a site called the Olympics Athlete Hub, an effort that hopes to enable fans to make connections with the athletes that are participating in this year’s games as well as past performers.

What the hub does is simply aggregate the Twitter and Facebook feeds of the athletes and provide a single unified spot that brings them all together. A quick look over at the page shows that currently three of the five players are American NBA players.

Once you sign up you can search the athlete directory by athlete name, country, sport, discipline or event. There already 1,000 athletes in the hub and this will grow as qualifying for events is ongoing and as athletes qualify they will be added. There are also former Olympiads such as Mark Spitz, Nadia Comaneci, Edwin Moses, Yelena Isinbaeva, and Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, who pass along tips on training.

Users of the service can post photos and also win prizes for liking athletes on Facebook and following them on Twitter, and the site is expected to roll out a number of additional award programs leading up to the games, including one that can send the winner to the games.. During the games the site will feature a section that will feature real-time chats with athletes that will take place from within the Athletes’ Village.

It really seems that the Olympics as an organization truly understand the advantages of social media as well as the reach and power that a major on-line presence brings. With its broadcast partners making all events online and highlights that can be followed on YouTube it is certainly much easier to follow the contests easier than possibly any other sporting event in the world.

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